Merata Kawharu

Social anthropologist, scholar, educator.


Dr Merata Kawharu MNZM (Ngāti Whatua, Ngāpuhi) is the director of research at the James Henare Māori Research Centre at the University of Auckland and Associate Professor of Research at Otago University. A Rhodes Scholar, she is a graduate in anthropology and Māori studies from the University of Auckland and has a DPhil from Oxford in social anthropology. She is the lead investigator on the Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga project, ‘Waka Wairua: Landscape Heritage and the Creative Potential of Māori Communities‘, a member of the New Zealand Geographic Board Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa and has been a consultant to UNESCO and the UN as well as a member of the NZ Historic Places Trust Board and the Māori Heritage Council. She edited Whenua: Managing Our Resources (Reed, 2002), a finalist in the 2003 Montana Book Awards, and Tāhuhu Kōrero: The Sayings of Taitokerau (Auckland University Press, 2008), which won the Te Reo Māori category at the Ngā Kupu Ora Book Awards in 2009. Merata was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Māori education in 2012.